Canon EFS 17-55 causing vignetting on the C300

I picked up the Canon EFs 17-55 f/2.8 IS recently because I wanted a wide zoom that would compliment my 24-105 IS and 70-200 IS lenses. I’ve been shooting with the 17-55 for around a week now and started noticing light falloff on the left and right edges of my shots when shooting at 17mm as well as darkened corners from 17-28mm. When the image stabiliser is active on the lens the vignetting becomes a lot more noticeable as the stabiliser function causes the vignetting to move around in the shot.

The super35 sensor on the C300 is slightly wider than the APS-C sensors on crop frame Canon DSLR’s. This results in the edges of the sensor capturing a bit more of the light coverage than say a 7D or  T3i. I had initially put the vignetting issue down to the EFS lens not being able to cover the sensor sufficiently.

Today I was using the lens again and noticed the issue wasn’t there. After a small amount of head scratching I realised I wasn’t using the sun hood this time, it seems pretty obvious now I think about it but I’m used to using the Canon lens hoods all on my lenses without problem.

The Canon EW-83J has to be purchased separately from the 17-55 but it is designed specifically for that lens. Canon have righty designed the lens hood to provide optimum flare protection without impeding on the image of their APS-C  cameras, but there doesn’t seem to be enough tolerance to also allow it to be used with the C300’s Super35 sensor.

The images below show the same shot with the sun hood fitted and removed. The first image was captured during a slow pan which resulted in the image stabiliser revealing the dark edge more on the right side than the left. With IS off the effect is less  obvious but still visible on each side equally.

Sun hood fitted – 17mm f/2.8

With the lens hood removed the worst of the light fall off is now gone. There is still some minor vignetting in the corners at the wide end of the lens with a natural light fall off towards the edges of the frame.

Sun hood removed – 17mm f/2.8

The C300’s peripheral illumination correction feature helps to remove some of the light fall off.

Sun hood removed + Peripheral illumination feature – 17mm f/2.8

Update: 2-5-2012

I’m still seeing some vignetting from this lens so I decided to try out Canon’s other wide zooms, specifically the 16-35 f/ 2.8 L and 17-40 f / 4 L.

I really like the image from the 16-35, I’m not sure why it’s less exposed than the others, the metadata confirms a setting of f/3.5.

16-35 f/ 2.8

The image from the 17-40 is nice too but I prefer the bokeh from the 16-35.

17-40 f/4

Finally the 17-55, note the vignette appearing top right, this was with the hood removed.

17-55 f/ 2.8

Going by the images above the 16-35 is the clear winner in terms of image quality, at least in my opinion anyway. There’s just something about the bokeh that makes the faster glass stand out to me.

It’s not until you watch the video below though that the full picture becomes apparent when thinking about a lens for handheld use, even with the vignette the 17-55 still stands out simply because of it’s Image Stabiliser feature. The others could be corrected with warp stabiliser or another post stabiliser but that would be a major hassle if it had to be done to all of the footage from an event.

For handheld work I think I’ll stick with the EFs 17-55, at least until Canon make a wide zoom L series lens with IS.



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10 Responses

  1. Michael O'Halloran says:

    Hi Paul, I use the 17-55 with my c300 and have had similar experiences. I ended up filing down the edges of the hood a couple of mm, works well. Thanks for the post.

  2. Daniel says:

    Good tips.

    Have you enabled the EF-S mode on the C100? Any differences?

    • Paul Joy says:

      Yes, it does minimise the problem although it doesn’t get rid of the vignetting altogether.

  3. Vincent says:

    I have exactly the same issue you are describing. I use the 17-55 and the 15-85. Both these lenses are clearly vignetting on the C300 (in some situations far more than the pictures you show here). This leaves no option for run and gun shooting since the 16-35 zoom ration is not adequate for me. :-(

  4. Tyler says:

    Glad you wrote the post. I’ve only used the 17-55 on the 7D and would’ve been cursing the lens as “junk” when I finally put it on a C300 with a full-frame sensor. You saved Canon from an angry email!

  5. Joeseph says:

    A very long post explaining that your original guess was totally wrong, making the title of the post misleading, it’s not the lens that is vignetting it’s the lens hood. Sensational title. Why you still followed fhrough, making the post is beyond me, I might say, “oops it’s not the lens, it’s the lens hood, my bad” you went ahead and still posted the incorrect information like it was true. Very strange, take the hood off.

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Joeseph. I made the post because I thought it might help anybody else who experienced the same issue, hence the reason for name of the post as they would likely search for “17-55 lens causing vignetting on C300”. Thanks for your thoughts though I don’t want to cause any “sensations” so I amended the title a little.

    • Bryan Donnell says:

      Joeseph —

      I am glad for the title, because just as Paul says I was searching for vignetting from this lens.

      Also, you may notice that even without the lens hood there is still a tiny bit of vignetting and light fall off, so the title isn’t irrelevant.

      Lastly, the condescension of your tone isn’t good manners whether you’re wrong or right, on the internet or in person. It’s all too common on the internet where people don’t see each other face to face. Paul hasn’t earned that and no one really deserves it.

  6. Michael says:

    Thanks Paul for the heads up on what to watch out for when shooting with the C300 and 17-55 . . . .I was looking into purchasing this lens as my primary wide angle lens.

  7. cd says:

    put a video up. id love to see how it looks with this lens. plz :)

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